Monday, 29 September 2008

Go Go Go Joseph

This weekend just passed saw the culmination of 8 weeks of term for our students and for most of them it was an extremely busy term. We mentioned in our last blog about the students preparing for Joseph and the end of term also saw the production being put on.
The production was a joint venture between Lincoln, the American School, and KISC. While the majority of the students, the director, producer and musical director were all from KISC a number of Lincoln students were involved, including Joseph, and their venue was used to show the production. Unsurprisingly the American school is certainly not short of a few quid and their school theatre was up there with professional theatres. The backstage area had to be seen to be believed. Mind you no penny was spared by either school in putting on the show, and the quality of scenery, props and costumes was very impressive and most importantly everyone who came to see it was blown away with how good it looked. 

We contributed by giving less homework for a term, and helping out backstage on 3 of the 4 nights. As you should be able to see from some of the photos the sets were quite large and
 so it needed a few people to shift them. However most of the backstage work was done by students not in the cast and they lived up to the same professional standard as those students who gave a great performance on stage. A DVD of the show will be avalibe for the rough equivalent of £2.50 so if you'd like a copy then let us know (although postage will probably be the same again). The funds should help cover costs and raise money for KISC and Lincoln.

As mentioned above it is now the end of term and we have a 3 week break for the festival of Dhosai. This is the biggest Hindu festival here in Nepal and next week pretty much the whole country shuts down. It's a bit like Christmas. We have Dan's parents arriving this Wednesday and they are staying for nearly 2 weeks. We're really looking forward to seeing them and showing them some of the country, including parts we've not made it to yet. Our next blog will probably include some photos and details of the fun we got up too.

While Dhosai is a great time for Nepalis who get to spend time with their families it is also a difficult time for many here. The main reason is the cost. We all know how much extra Christmas costs, but here in a country where most people are poor and survive day to day, with no concept of saving, the extra expense of this festival must hurt. Unfortunately these expenses have to be met as if you don't meet them then you may well be shunned by your relatives or viewed to have bought bad luck on your family. One way to help this is that most organisations pay double for this month to enable employees to be able to afford things. We've done this with our Didi and milkman, but there are many people who live of the land and their own produce, for them this isn't an option.

The other people for whom this time of year is difficult are the Nepali Christians, particularly those who have recently become Christians or those whose family are all Hindu. While it will still be a great time to holiday and spend time with families, a lot of pressure will be put on them by family and friends to take part in all the rituals and sacrifices that they no longer wish to be part off. As such our church has spent a lot of time helping those new Christians prepare for this festival time and we would ask you to remember them at this difficult, but potentially enjoyable time.

Thursday, 11 September 2008


You may have heard about some serious news that has affected this part of the world recently. The terrible flooding in India and Nepal which has happened as a result of monsoon and poor maintenance. The number of people stranded and affected by the floods is well into the millions, mostly in India but plenty here in Nepal. There are still apparently people stranded on top of buildings where the boats haven’t got to them yet and even those rescued will face about a nine month wait until they are able to have somewhere to live again. Most of the houses will have just been washed away as they’re made of little more than mud and straw.

While there are organisations here that are trying to help, the concern is that
the aid just won’t get to these people, because of various people/organisations incompetence. It was incompetence that saw the flooding start and I’m sure it won’t be the last time that incompetence affects these people. To read a news article on the BMS World Mission click here

Without wanting to sound self-centred the knock-on effect for us is that the power cuts, which had gone down to 4 hours per week, are now up to 30 hours and already high food p
rices are expected to rocket soon as supply disappears from this region. The reason for the power cut change is because the floods have taken out one of the cables that brings 70Mwatts up from India. As all of Nepal’s internal electricity supply is hydroelectric normally the power cuts disappear in the summer and only reach 30 hours in the late winter, just before the snow starts to melt. We could be in for a long winter.

On a more positive note the students at our school have been very involved in extra curricular activities recently. This term the school is putting on a production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. The rehearsals are 3 nights a week for 3 hours after school and about 60 of the 80 secondary students are involved. Alongside this we’ve recently had 2 big sporting events. About 3 weeks back we had a Triathlon to raise money for the victims of the Chinese earthquake earlier this year. Each year group entered a few pupils for each of the 3 events, running, swimming and biking, in a relay effort. As well as this we recently had a school Interhouse Swimming Gala and many students were also involved in an Interschool Swimming competition. This involved training for several weeks on the 2 nights per week they aren’t doing Joseph rehearsals. And they still find time for school work!